‘Unidentified’ men raid residence of Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sister
February 16, 2016   By:    Aafia Siddiqui   Comments are off   //   866 Views

KARACHI: A group of unidentified men raided a residence of Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui – a Pakistani scientist who is imprisoned in the United States – and questioned them about her family.

According to details, unknown armed persons allegedly barged into the house of Dr. Fouzia.

Her family said the men questioned about children of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. The family claimed that the three men grilled the gatekeeper about Dr. Aafia’s children and when he refused to give details, they beat up the guard and trussed him up.

When informed, Rangers personnel reached the spot and collected information about the men who broke into Dr. Fouzia’s house.

Dr Aafia Siddiqui – a 42-year-old mother of three with degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, Siddiqui is serving an 86-year sentence in a prison medical center in Texas. A jury in 2010 convicted her of attempting to shoot and kill a group of FBI agents, U.S. soldiers and interpreters who were about to interrogate her for alleged links to al Qaeda.

Siddiqui already lost one appeal. In 2012, an appeals court rejected arguments that her trial was unfair and upheld her conviction.

To go with Pakistan-Afghanistan-unrest-Siddiqui,FOCUS by Guillaume LAVALLÉE In this photograph taken on November 12, 2014, Fowzia Siddiqui, sister of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who is currently serving a prison term in the US, gestures as she gives an interview to AFP at her home in Karachi. From Algeria to Iraq to Yemen, one name crops up again and again in the demands of Islamist hostage-takers: Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani scientist jailed in the United States for attacking American soldiers in Afghanistan. Militant groups from Al-Qaeda and its offshoots to the Islamic State (IS) have sought the 42-year-old's release in exchange for captives, most recently the US journalist James Foley, beheaded by IS in August. In an interview with AFP in the sprawling, violent Pakistani port metropolis of Karachi, Siddiqui's family protested her innocence and despaired at the horrors associated with her name. AFP PHOTO/ASIF HASSAN

In this photograph taken on November 12, 2014, Fowzia Siddiqui, sister of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who is currently serving a prison term in the US, gestures as she gives an interview to AFP at her home in Karachi. From Algeria to Iraq to Yemen, one name crops up again and again in the demands of Islamist hostage-takers: Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani scientist jailed in the United States for attacking American soldiers in Afghanistan. Militant groups from Al-Qaeda and its offshoots to the Islamic State (IS) have sought the 42-year-old’s release in exchange for captives, most recently the US journalist James Foley, beheaded by IS in August. In an interview with AFP in the sprawling, violent Pakistani port metropolis of Karachi, Siddiqui’s family protested her innocence and despaired at the horrors associated with her name. AFP PHOTO/ASIF HASSAN

Her latest appeal, filed in May 2014, argues that Siddiqui received an unfair trial because she was not allowed to fire defense lawyers who were paid by the Pakistan government, and that U.S. prosecutors failed to turn over important evidence.

BACKGROUND

According to Reuters, Siddiqui was wanted by the FBI in 2003 for questioning for possible ties to al Qaeda and was detained by Pakistani authorities.

U.S. officials alleged that when the Afghan police captured Siddiqui in July 2008, she was carrying two pounds (900 grams) of sodium cyanide, which releases a highly toxic gas, notes that referred to a mass casualty attack, and a list of U.S. landmarks.

Siddiqui was never charged with links to terrorism. The FBI agents, U.S. soldiers and interpreters said that as they were about to interrogate her at an Afghan police compound in Ghazni, Afghanistan, she grabbed a rifle and began shooting at them. None of them were wounded, but Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen when they returned fire.

Siddiqui’s family says she was raped and tortured at the U.S. military’s Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. U.S. officials have said they found no evidence of that, but Islamist militant groups say her case is an example of the worst excesses of the U.S. war on terror.

At her trial, Siddiqui’s lawyer urged an acquittal because there was no evidence the rifle had been fired. No bullets, shell casings or bullet debris were recovered and no bullet holes were detected, the lawyer said.

Prosecutors cited testimony from witnesses and said the witnesses had no motive to lie.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban asked for her release as part of a deal to free U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. In May, Bergdahl was released in a prisoner swap that freed five Taliban leaders held at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Calls for Siddiqui’s release were made by al Qaeda-linked kidnappers in Algeria in January 2013. A few months later, two Czech women who had been kidnapped in Pakistan appeared in a video demanding the scientist’s freedom in return for their release. It was not clear who was holding them.

Source


Print pagePDF pageEmail page
Enter title here...
Enter content here...

Comments are closed.